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Imposter Syndrome is real… don’t let it take hold of who you are, or what you do!


Johannesburg, South Africa (22 August 2022) – Imposter syndrome, also known as impostor phenomenon or impostorism, is a psychological occurrence in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. Despite external evidence of their competence, those experiencing this phenomenon do not believe they deserve their success or luck.

And last night I had it bad!!

Last night I delivered a keynote to a group of varsity students who are all part of community initiatives trying to make our country a better place – the proper future leaders of tomorrow. They are studying law, and psychology, and politics, and international relations and everything else in-between while rolling up their sleeves and doing whatever they can to shape South Africa into what they want it to be… or believe it can be.

The self-doubt in the lead-up to my keynote was real and ugly. Like, these young minds are knee-deep-in-the-hoopla. They know what is going on in our country. They are on the ground trying to fix it. What could I possibly teach them?

During the hour I was on stage, there was dead silence. You could hear a pin drop. And my butterflies were flapping so hard that you could see the hurricanes forming in my sweat droplets. It was rough.

But I put my impostorism aside and did the only thing I know how to do. I spoke about what I know. I told them the stories that inspire me. I reminded them that community projects are the pillars of our society. I lifted them up. Gave them hope.

And reminded them that good things (and good people) exist… and that is why our country will be more than okay.

When I was done and opened the floor for questions, I was overwhelmed with love, insight (they had mentally been taking notes about everything that I was saying), and SO MANY questions. 8 of the students asked me if I could speak at their Universities. Good grief, it was unreal.

On the way home, that imposter syndrome started taking over again. “Are you just a bullshitter? Is the country really going to be okay? Are there really that many good people out there?”

As I turned a corner, I was pulled over in a roadblock. The JMPD officers were so kind, so professional, and so focused on doing their jobs. No cool drink money. No bribes. No nonsense. Just good people doing their jobs and trying to make our roads safer.

I drove away from those officers reminding myself that I’m human and imposter syndrome is something that many of us deal with… the trick is to put it back in its place. Like I say, use those butterflies to propel you forward. Don’t EVER be pushed around by your fears in your mind… rather be led by the dreams in your heart!

Those kids and that drive home also reminded me that our beautiful country will be more than okay – in spite of the corrupt, the liars, the fakers and the takers.

Good South Africans are what make South Africa so beautiful. And that’s Ayoba.

I hope this week (and every day) you are led by your hopes and not your fears.

Okay. Love you. Bye.

Sources: Brent Lindeque | Good Things Guy 
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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